The Countess of Wessex Joins Thames Valley Air Ambulance Crew Video Call to Thank Them for NHS Redeployment


Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex joined Thames Valley Air Ambulance weekly scheduled crew video call (21/04/20) to pass on her thanks to the charity’s paramedics and doctors for redeploying in support their NHS frontline colleagues during the pandemic, and shared that she would be clapping for the air ambulance service crew members alongside NHS and other frontline workers at 8:00pm on Thursday evening. 

Responding to a request from NHS partners, Thames Valley Air Ambulance crews have refocused their efforts towards: 

  • Working alongside frontline NHS teams treating the most severely ill COVID-19 patients in hospitals within the region. 
  • Enhancing the transfer capabilities between hospitals to move critically ill patients to where capacity is available, thanks to the donation of two ambulances from St John Ambulance. 
  • Continuing to provide a pre-hospital critical care service. 

The Countess of Wessex, who last year became the Royal Patron to the charity, said on the 20-minute video call: 

Thank you for going that extra mile and working with the NHS, working within that sector, and supporting what they are all doing. I hope you know that what you are doing is incredibly worthwhile, and I am very proud to be your patron, so thank you very much for allowing me to do that. 

And of course, when we do our Thursday clap, you are part of that as well, we think about you and holding you very much close to us… One final plea to you all, look after yourself, look after your families and please stay safe. 

As the only pre-hospital critical care provider in the region, the air ambulance service will continue to fly its highly specialised crew to provide life changing care to seriously ill and injured patients. 

However, since the introduction of new Government guidelines urging the public to stay at home, the charity has experienced a drop in call outs for our pre-hospital critical care services. On that basisthe charity has asked its paramedics and doctors turn their training, expertise and skills towards the fight against coronavirus. 

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance said: 

“Armed with the vital personal protective equipment, that business and the public have generously donated, our crew is stepping into the breach alongside our NHS colleagues at this time of unprecedented need. 

“Thanks to the public taking on board the government guidelines to stay at home trauma incident numbers have dropped significantly, allowing us to redeploy our crews to support their frontline NHS colleagues. Alongside slowing transmission of coronavirus, reducing serious accidental injury has been another vitally important way that we can keep pressure down on the NHS at this crucial time. 

“To the crew who are stepping up and joining their frontline NHS colleagues, I want to express my thanks, alongside those of The Countess of Wessex, in saying how grateful and proud I am of them. This is not an easy role for them to undertake, but their commitment to providing outstanding patient care in these unprecedented times is appreciated by us all. 

On Tuesday 31st March 2020, Thames Valley Air Ambulance urged businesses to donate stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) to guarantee supplies for their frontline crews and help keep them and patients safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thanks to the generous donations from business and individuals, the charities frontline crews have increased their supplies from an initial 2 weeks before the appeal, to around 2 months. The crew of the air ambulance service will continue to use the donated stock within their new NHS roles, to not add to the pressure on official supplies.